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South College Asheville launches first Physician Assistant program cohort

February 20, 2023

The South College Asheville Physician Assistant program officially launched on Jan. 23 with the first class of 84 students who are pursuing a Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

“We have eagerly anticipated welcoming the first group of students in the Physician Assistant program in Asheville,” South College Chancellor Steve South said. “Our team is committed to developing these students through our comprehensive student support system, course instruction, and clinical training to help communities through the addition of qualified health professionals.”

The South College Physician Assistant Program previously earned provisional accreditation status from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) for its master’s level program in Physician Assistant Studies. This is the accreditation status initially awarded to new programs.

The Commission is the accrediting agency that protects the interests of the public and physician assistant profession by defining standards for education and evaluating programs in the United States to ensure compliance.

Enrollment is open now for the next cohort, which starts in January 2024. The program can be completed in as little as 27 months, with 15 months in didactic instruction followed by 12 months in supervised clinical practice experiences (SCPEs).

South College students who qualify for financial aid have access to a range of programs as do members of the U.S. military, veterans, and their families. The institution offers both student and career services. For more information about South College Asheville, please call 828-398-2500 or visit

The inaugural class of the South College Asheville Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies started on Jan. 23, 2023, with 84 students. Enrollment is open now for the next cohort, which starts in January 2024.

About South College

South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the doctorate, educational specialist, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate levels, as well as certificates. Questions about the accreditation of South College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

About ARC-PA Accreditation

ARC-PA provides the following statement about this accreditation: The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the South College Asheville Physician Assistant Program sponsored by South College.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.